Talk To Yourself!

We should take some time everyday to talk to our Creator and to talk to ourself!  You might be thinking:  “What would I say to self?”  I’ll give you some suggestions in the next several posts:

Today is a great day and I am glad that God has given it to me!  I am living an amazing life!  I am using the abilities provided by my Creator which allow me to create and choose what kind of a life I am going to live and enjoy.  I am full of energy and journey through life with peace, joy and happiness.  I attract and am attracted to those that love and protect peace, joy and happiness, and I love to spend time with them!  God has put His purpose in my heart and I know why I am here and what I am doing.  Every day and in every way, I understand what I want and what I was created for.  I am healthy, refreshed and ready for whatever it is that is about to come my way!  I am dressed inside and out in the manner that I have chosen for myself and what others think does not influence me in a negative or positive way.  What is important is that God is pleased with me and that I find peace in who and what I am.

Back Up Your Life!

I am back!  I had a computer crash and have been trying to get things back up and running!  Fortunately, I had backed up all of the important information, but seemed to have lost some pics and music!  Just a week before the big crash, I had thought to myself, that I needed to backup my whole computer on one of those external hard drives, but never got around to going and buying one!  The result:  I did not lose everything, but, I did lose some things!

The whole process got me to thinking about how we know what we ought to do, but often never get around to doing it.  Like we know that we should back up our lives by reading, studying and applying God’s Word.  We hear the sermons, but how often do we really take the time to back up our lives by applying what we are hearing?

Take some time today think about some of the areas of your life that God could improve – and think about how some of what you are hearing and reading applies.  Back up your daily living with the good stuff of God and you will be amazed at how much sweeter life can be!

Cold Weather!

Was it cold to you this morning?  I got a chill that I could not seem to get rid of!  I need to go outside and work on setting up for Sweet Treat, but I am not sure that I want to go out there again – at least not until it warms up a little!  Feeling the cold and feeling it in such a major way got me to thinking about how much we don’t feel.  When life is working as usual and everything is going the way that we like for it to go – we tend to feel very little.  But let something change, even just a little bit and watch out – there are all kinds of feeling and our thoughts are shared freely.

I have not felt the cold in a while and so I have gotton used to the warmth and it has become comfortable to me.  Now the cold comes and attempts to mess with and take away my comfort!  My first thought is:  “I can’t stand this cold!”  My second thought is:  “I am going to do all that I can to avoid it!”  But wait just a minute – I like the cold weather!  It puts a spring in my step, I seem to breath easier and I get to wear cloths that have been hanging in my closet looking lonely all summer long!

My problem is not what I feel!  My problem is that I have not felt what I am feeling for a while and so I am not used to it and I am tempted to avoid and miss it, when I need to embrace and enjoy it!  Our spiritual life is very much the same!  We have an expereince that is not what we are used to and we are tempted to go to pieces, but when we stop for just a momnet and think about it, things are not near as bad as we might think!  In fact, they might be better than we realize!

So – whatever is going on in your life today = embrace it and look forward to the journey that God has you on!

Memory Lane

I am back after an amazing weekend journey back down memory lane.  This past week I finally took a Sunday off from the Northwood pulpit to return to my first church pastorate – Shamrock Bapitst Church in Bethune, South Carolina.  Shamrock was celebrating their 100th Anniversary and invited me back to deliver the “Homecoming” message.  Joy and I had a blast showing the girls were we used to live and remembering some of the funny stories of our beginning days of ministry and marriage.  It was really great to see everyone and I was amazed at how so many of the folks had not really changed a bit.

It is amazing to be gone from a place for over twelve years and get the opportunity to go back and feel as if you never really left.  The love, lessons and life that Joy and I were blessed with in our ministry to that first church family is something that words cannot even come close to explaining.  The most exciting part for me is seeing that a church that I had the joy of serving is continuing to grow and be effective for God’s glory!  I thank God for that congregation of Believers and for all that they have meant to so many, especially to me!  Every where I go, I will always take some of Shamrock with me!

It is great to be back at Northwood!  It is nice to get away and enjoy memory lane, but I sure do miss the family of Believers and community of challenge that God has given me to pastor in Greer.  I love living, teaching, sharing, growing and becoming together.  God has some amazing things in store for us and I can’t wait to see Him accomplish some of the things that He has put in my heart and head.  So with that said – I’ve got lots of work to do, so I’ll get busy and talk with you folks later!  May continue to bless, as we keep it real!

Bitter Sweet!

Yesterday was a great day of worship!  It is always amazing to me to watch and see how God puts together a worship service.  The way He uses each of us to accomplish getting His message across.  The Communion, songs, special music, prayers and message all came together with the incredible spirit of a group of very loving and caring people to give us an amazing opportunity to proclaim to God how great and awesome He is in our lives!  I really believe that we brought a smile to His face!  I am excited about the things that He is teaching us and I am enjoying the personal spiritual growth that I am experiencing in my own life!

Yesterday was also bitter/sweet in that a very good friend and spiritual brother went to be with our Lord.  Arlen Coggins was a very special person to every person that knew him and to many that had never met him.  He continually reached out of his life and into the lives of others to be a help and a blessing.  I don’t think that his influence can be measured, only appreciated.  I thank God for allowing me to be his Pastor and for giving us all the opportunity to minister to and with Arlen and for the blessing of receiving ministry from Him!  My hope, comfort and healing come from the promise that because of Arlen’s relationship with Christ, He has experienced perfect and complete healing and is living in the presence of the One that he loved to serve! 

I am so thankful for each of you and I am so glad that God has brought us together to minister and make a difference for His Kingdom!  I hope you are living a blessed day!

It Could Be Worse!

Do you ever have a bad day?  I mean one of those:  “I should not have got out of bed today” days?  We all wish that we never had to have those days, but if you live life long enough, you will have more than your share of those days!  I think that when you are working hard to live the right life of a Christ follower, that you might even have more of those days than most, because we can’t respond to the world and it’s challenges in just any ole way that we want to!

This morning I was reading in Isaiah 43:2 and it says:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Notice it does not say that we won’t get wet.  It does not say that we won’t face some pressure and current from life.  It does not say that we can avoid the fire of life.  In fact it implies that as we walk through life, we will have to walk through water, the current and the fire!  It does not say”if” you pass through, but “when” you pass through!  If we are living and breathing and walking through life, then we are going to have to walk through some though stuff!

It does say that we can pass through the waters, current and fire!  We don’t have to stay in the tough times.  You and I can choose to give up and set up camp in the frustrations and disappointments of life, or we can choose to walk on through these times to the something better that God has on the other side!

When the waters of frustration, disappointment and discouragement begin to rise in your life – remember that you are not alone!  God has promised that He is with you and He will never leave you, nor forsake you!  God does not give up on you, so please do not give up on yourself or Him!

When your frustrations, dissappointments and discouragements grow into a raging river – remember that God is in control and He will not allow it to overflow you!  When you can’t keep you head above water, God will be there to give you the helping hand that you need!  Just make sure that you are willing to reach up and take His hand of help!

There will be times of fire, when our lives and our motives are tested.  This is never any fun, but as we stay faithful to our Creator and keep on walking through by trusting in Him, He will not allow the fire to burn us or the flame from that fire to scorch us!  It’s pretty cool that we can walk through the fire with God and come out on the other side not even smelling like smoke!

There is no promise that life will always be easy and I am glad, because if it was easy, there would probably be no growth or real meaning.  And while it is never any fun going through the though stuff, I thank God that we don’t have to go through it by ourselves.  It could be worse, if God were not with us, but He is and that encourages me to keep on walking through whatever life might throw my way!

What Are You Thinking About?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy – meditate on these things.     (Philippians 4:6-8)     

This was the Scripture from my devotional reading this morning.  It is a very familar passage that I decided to share with a family member and then thought that the blog world might enjoy being reminded of some of it’s very meaningful thoughts.  No matter where you are in your life journey, it is always good to be reminded!  Here are just a few of my thoughts:

1.)  God tells me to be anxious for nothing.  I can’t be anxious for nothing, so what’s the point of being anxious?  (There is not one!  So stop worrying already!)     

2.)  In everything and for everything (good & bad) I am to pray with an attitude of thankfulness!

     -If I am truly trusting God with my life, then whatever happens is a part of His plan and even though it may seem bad to me at the moment, ultimately God is going to use it for my good and blessing.  I need to make sure that I keep a thankful attitude and spirit!  (Easier said than done, but necessary!)

     -With that spirit, I can bring my request to Him and know that He hears me and He will respond according to His awesome plan!

3.)  When I get the thankful spirit right – I have the peace of God, which I can’t even begin to understand or explain!

     -This peace guards my heart and mind from the attack of the enemy and the opinions and attitudes of others!     

4.)  My mind guarded and kept safe by the peace of God should meditate (think on) things that build up!               

     -The things that build up are:

-Things that are true, not that we think might be true!

-Things that are noble, not things that tear up and tear down!

-Things that are just, not opinions, ideas and worldly trash!

-Things that are pure, not unholy and unspiritual = a little poop in the brownie mix spoils the whole batch!

-Things that are lovely, not things that corrupt love and the good life!

-Things that are of good report, not false!  (Focus on the positive and the negatives will be taken care of!)

-Things that are virtueous, not things that tear down, but things that build up!

-Things that are praise worthy, not things that take away from our blessing and God’s glory!

5.)  The Devil and the world want to fill my mind with things that will tear me down and apart!                                         

     -If it tears down, is not true, unjust, mean spirited, takes me away from God and His purpose, distorts, makes ugly, is negative, bad for me and bad for others, then I need to make sure that I don’t waste my energy on giving it any attention!

     -I will not let the devil or other negative people win!  They cannot have me, my mind, my heart my spirit or my life.

     -They lose, God wins and we are blessed!

Amazed By Grace!

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